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Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand! What does that mean exactly? Well, simply that Queenstown is full of exciting adventure activities!
Some adventure activities in Queenstown will get your heart racing while others will have you our exploring the great outdoors and scenery. Expect epic views, anxious screams, and of course, adrenaline-filled giggles. No trip to Queenstown is complete without doing at least one adventure tour or experience.
But what adventure activities are the best in Queenstown? What exactly are the best options to choose from?
These are great questions because let’s face it, most Queenstown adventure activities are tours – and they aren’t cheap. If you’re on any kind of a budget then you’re going to need to pick and choose carefully which adventures you want to have in Queenstown and which ones you’re happy to skip.
That’s why I’ve written this blog. It includes info about 25 different Queenstown adventure activities including important info such as what to expect, the price, the best time of year, and more. These tours all range in how “extreme” they are, and as such, even if you aren’t a huge adrenaline junkie I’m sure you’ll find a few suitable experiences mentioned in this blog.
And for you thrill-seekers, look no further. This blog also includes the craziest, extreme, and adventurous things you can do in Queenstown!
25 Adventure Activities in Queenstown
1. Jet boating
Jet boating is likely one of the most popular adventure activities in Queenstown. Not only is it a ton of fun, but it is an affordable and exciting way to get out on the water to soak in unique vantage points.
From inside a speed boat, you’ll race around rivers and lakes stopping only inches from the shoreline or rocks. Your driver will execute 360-degree spins with speed. You’ll scream and laugh the entire time, I guarantee it.
Jet boating tours are also some of the most affordable adventure activities in Queenstown with the cheapest tours starting under $80 NZD per person. Plus, jet boating is fun for the whole family allowing most children over the age of 2 to ride with adults.
Not to mention, jet boating tours run all year round – rain or shine. I mean, you’re going to get wet anyway, so jet boating is actually one of the best things to do in Queenstown on a rainy day.
There are 5 different jet boat operators in Queenstown so there are plenty to choose from. They are:
K-Jet – This is who I did my jet boating ride with. They leave from the wharf in Queenstown and the tour lasts for 1 hour. It was really fun and I can personally recommend this tour. It is good value for money and one of the cheapest options when it comes to jet boat tours in Queenstown.
Shotover Jet – These guys operate in the Shotover Canyon on the Shotover River and they are the most famous company in Queenstown. Many claim this tour to be more thrilling than those that depart on Lake Wakatipu. Plus, the Shotover River is stunning!
Real NZ – This is the other company that operates from the Queenstown Wharf. They are the cheapest company in Queenstown and offer both a 25-minute and 1-hour ride.
Skippers Canyon Jet – This is another company operating in the Shotover River, however, their tour is in Skipper Canyon. This canyon is said to be narrower so the ride is supposed to be really scary!
Dart River Adventures – This is easily the most unique jet boating tour. It’s actually in Glenorchy and goes down the Dart River to an area literally called Paradise. The tour is the most expensive but it includes the scenic drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy, jet boating, a nature walk, and then a bus tour back. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Glenorchy!
With so many options it can be hard to choose a tour operator. With that said, each company has its own advantages. For the most thrilling experience, go with Skippers Canyon Jet or Shotover Jet; for the most convenience, go with K-Jet or Real NZ; and for the most adventurous go with Dart River Adventures!
Of course, this blog about adventurous things to do in Queenstown couldn’t be complete without ziplining! Less scary than bungy jumping, ziplining in New Zealand offers panoramic views from high up in the air as you speed through the treetops. It’s fun and the views are stunning!
When booking there are a few different zipline experiences available in Queenstown depending on how many lines you want to do, how much time you have, and you’re budget.
The Moa Tour has 4 different lines that start low and gradually increase in their height, length, and speed. This is ideal if this is your first time ziplining.
The 1-hour Kereru Tour while shorter than the Moa is a bit more thrilling as it includes 2 lines and a 22-meter drop (72 feet) at the end.
If you choose the Kea Tour you’ll get to do 6 lines along with the world’s steepest zipline which descends 30 stories at 70 kilometers (44 miles) an hour!
The tours are guided and you’ll take your time learning about the area along the way. In fact, the 6 zip line tour is almost 3 hours long!
You can book one of these thrilling experiences online in advance. Prices range from $112 NZD to $199 NZD.
Please Note: The ziplining tours mentioned above start at Bob’s Peak, so you’re either going to have to hike the Tiki Trail to get there or take the Skyline gondola. If you choose the gondola, this price is additional ($46 NZD) and you’ll need to coordinate your zipline tour start time with the gondola operating times.
The most extreme adventure activity in Queenstown is, of course, skydiving! I’ve personally skydived twice in my life, once in Canada and once in Australia. Although I haven’t had the chance to skydive in Queenstown (yet) it’s definitely something I’ve heard awesome things about!
In Queenstown, you have the choice between a few different skydiving experiences. You can book right in town and choose between 9,000 feet, 12,000 feet, and 15,000 feet jumps. The difference between these jumps is the amount of freefall time and the price. The 15,000-foot jump is the most expensive but offers the longest free fall time. Also, bragging rights come along with completing the highest and most crazy 15,000 ft jump!
Alternatively, for a super cool experience, you can also book this full-day tour to Mount Cook that includes a 10,000 ft, 13,000 ft, or 15,000 ft skydive. That’s right, you’ll experience NZ’s tallest mountain (Mount Cook) from up in the sky! Although a long day, Mount Cook is a must-see destination on the South Island. I can only imagine that skydiving there would be seriously epic.
4. Hydro Attack Queenstown
Have you heard of the Hydro Attack Shark? Not likely, because it is an activity that is unique to Queenstown. Rumor has it, that the guy who designed these cool machines has a patent on them and that’s why you’ll only see them in Queenstown.
The Hydro Shark is like a jet ski but it also goes underwater like a shark.
Basically, you sit in a seat behind the driver, and like a fighter jet, they close the windscreen over you. Then, you’ll fly across the water before the shark makes fast dives below the water and then pops up out of the water. I’ve never done it before but it’s always zooming around on Lake Wakatipu and I’ve often wondered what it’s like.
The Hydro Shark isn’t a cheap activity and for a 15-minute ride, it’ll cost you upwards of $155 NZD. With that said, it’s unique to Queenstown and easily a top adventurous experience.
Note: The Hydro Shark is often fully booked during weekends or peak seasons, be sure to book your experience in advance to avoid missing out!
5. Go on a quad tour
Quad bikes, also known as ATVs, are a fun way to drive yourself around rough terrain. Climb up mountains, cross rivers, and speed through the mud! You name it, the quad will (try) to tackle it.
One of the most popular adventure tours in Queenstown involves driving your own quad around on Queenstown Hill on a guided quad biking tour. Your guide will teach you everything you need to know before setting off to enjoy some of the most incredible views from up above Queenstown. With weather-proof gear provided, quad biking is one of the adventure tours you can do in Queenstown even when it’s raining or cold (a perfect winter activity in Queenstown if you ask me.)
This quad biking tour is suitable for anyone 16 years or older and it’s even great for people who’ve never driven a quad before. The tour departs from central Queenstown and lasts for 3.5 hours. Expect to pay around $303 NZD per person.
6. Whitewater rafting
Whitewater rafting is one of the most popular things to do in New Zealand, and on the South Island, Queenstown is just the adventurous place to try it!
There are actually a couple of different tours to choose from depending on the experience you want to have. There are different levels of rapids ranging from 1-3 all the way up to class 5 beasts that’ll have you holding on for dear life.
I’m not going to lie, I have lots of rafting experience and actually tackled one of the top three rafting rivers in Patagonia one year. For that reason, I love the Shotover River rafting tour. It goes on class 4-5 rapids with names such as Aftershock, Squeeze, Toilet, and Pinball. It’s a fun tour for those wanting to challenge themselves.
For those a little less experienced, there is this rafting/jet boating tour that includes a jet boat ride and a paddle down class 2-3 rapids.
7. Bungy jumping
Queenstown is the home of bungy jumping! AJ Hackett ran the first-ever commercial bungy jump in the world here in Queenstown in 1987. Since then, bungy jumping has become one of those bucket-list things to do in Queenstown and around the world!
In fact, bungy jumping is probably the most iconic adrenaline-filled activity you can do in Queenstown – and probably all of New Zealand for that matter!
In Queenstown, you have your choice of not one, but three different bungy jumps! Below I’ve compared them all for you:
- Height: 47 meters (154 feet)
- Location: Bob’s Peak near Skyline Queenstown
- Tandem Allowed: No
- Price: $205 NZD
- The best part: Although only a 47-meter jump, the location on the side of a mountain makes it seem higher. Plus, the views are awesome!
- Height: 43 meters (141 feet)
- Location: Kawarau Bridge (about a 20-minute drive from town center)
- Tandem Allowed: YES!
- Price: $205 NZD
- The best part: From Queenstown, you can bungy and be back in under 2 hours at this location. You are also allowed to tandem jump here or even go naked (if you’re into that…)
- Height: 134 meters (440 feet)
- Location: Nevis River 1.5 hours from Queenstown (must take their 4wd bus to get there)
- Tandem Allowed: no
- Price: $275 NZD
- The best part: It’s New Zealand’s highest bungy (3rd biggest in the world with over 8 seconds of free fall!) Once you’re out there, you can pair the bungy with the Nevis Swing and Catapult which are other popular Queenstown adventure experiences.
8. Shotover Canyon Giant Rope Swing
If bungy jumping sounds like fun, but just a little bit too extreme then the Shotover Canyon Swing in Queenstown will be perfect for you! Like bungy, you’ll hurl yourself off a 109-meter high platform (358 feet) directly into the Shotover Canyon. You’ll free fall for 60 meters (197 feet) before swinging out into the canyon on a giant rope swing! It’s both exciting and scenic.
The Shotover Canyon Swing is located at, you guessed it, the stunning Shotover Canyon. So really, it isn’t far from Queenstown. A bonus to this adventure tour is that it also includes transport from Queenstown.
It is a unique adventure activity in Queenstown, and the perfect option for those who just can’t quite get the nerve to do bungy jumping, but still want a similar adrenaline-filled experience.
Like most adventure tours in Queenstown, the Shotover Canyon Swing should be booked in advance to secure your spot.
9. Nevis Catapult
Another adventure activity that is unique to Queenstown is the Nevis Catapult. As a fairly new attraction, this is a popular add-on to those who are already tackling the Nevis Bungy. It is perfect for adrenaline-seekers and those who can’t get enough of the thrill.
It’s the world’s biggest human catapult!
Like a sling-shot, you’ll get catapulted (is that even a word) 150 meters (492 ft) at a speed of 150 kph in 1.5 seconds across a canyon. It’s a crazy ride and only those who are brave enough will try it.
The Nevis Catapult costs about $225 NZD with deals available on certain dates or when tickets are bought in a package with the Nevis Bungy.
10. Go on a lake cruise
Adventure activities don’t necessarily all have to be crazy. To me, adventure activities in Queenstown are also about just getting out and exploring. Go somewhere new, wander new places, learn new things – this is all adventuring too!
Does cruising along the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu sound like it’s just your speed? If so, there is no shortage of cruise companies to choose from in Queenstown where you can enjoy the stunning views from one of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes.
From historic steamships to more modern luxury digs, there are a number of ways to enjoy a leisurely cruise down Lake Wakatipu. Whichever one you choose, you simply can’t beat the view of Queenstown from out on the water.
For a historic twist, take a ride in the mighty TSS Earnslaw, an iconic century-old coal-fired steamship. You can tour the engine room and explore historic displays of the ship’s former life on this 90-minute cruise. Add on a gourmet lunch buffet at the scenic Walter Peak Farm for the ultimate afternoon experience complete with a delicious (trust me on this) BBQ lunch.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a cheaper activity in Queenstown, consider the Spirit of Queenstown scenic cruise. This cruise is on board a catamaran and also lasts for 90 minutes – but it starts at only $49 NZD per person for adults and $10 for children! It’s just quick activity that you can easily make time for in your Queenstown itinerary.
11. Ride the Queenstown Gondola up to Bob’s Peak
Jump inside the Skyline Gondola for a ride that’ll take you 450 meters (1,476 ft) up to Bob’s Peak (the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest cable car!) From inside the fully transparent glass enclosure, you’ll take in views over Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables mountain range, and of course, Queenstown!
Once you get to the top of the gondola at Bob’s Peak your day isn’t over yet – there is lots more to do! Try out the Queenstown Luge for some added fun (more on the Luge below.)
You can also grab a bite to eat or drink up at Bob’s Peak. Choose from a laid-back cafe or splurge on a romantic meal at Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar (my personal favorite) as you overlook some of the finest views in the Southern Hemisphere. Even if you aren’t hungry, having a glass of wine here while watching the sunset is absolute perfection.
There are also various walking trails you can explore up at Bob’s Peak for beautiful views over Queenstown.
12. Ride the Luge
Once at the top of Bob’s Peak my favorite thing to do is ride the Queenstown Luge. To me, no adventure to Bob’s Peak is complete without riding the Luge as it is definitely one of the best things to do in Queenstown!
If you aren’t familiar with “luging”, it’s kind of like go-karting except instead of a motor, these little carts are gravity-powered as the track slopes down a hill.
It might sound kind of lame, but it isn’t. Honestly in Queenstown, the Luge goes really fast! You can control your speed by using the break, and chances are you won’t be able to ride the whole track without using your break at least a couple of times (yes, that’s a challenge!)
Riding the Luge costs $14 for one ride, or they have deals if you buy multiple rides at once or combine them with your gondola ticket. My best advice is to buy at least two rides but the more you buy the better the value. On your first time on the Luge, they will make you ride the “easy” track. After that, you’re free to try the faster track and that’s when the fun really begins!
Kids as young as 6 years old and 110 cm tall (43 in) can ride Red Track on the Luge by themselves. Kids over 135 cm tall (53 in) can also ride the Blue Track alone. Kids under these requirements can ride with an adult as many times as they want for only $5!
13. Mountain biking
The best time to visit Queenstown for mountain biking is in summer. People come from all over to mountain bike Queentown’s trails. The most popular mountain biking trails in Queenstown are the downhill ones from the top of Bob’s Peak. You can purchase daily lift passes that’ll take you and your bike up the mountain as many times as you want. This is perfect for those who don’t want to have to ride uphill to get the thrill of the downhill.
Another option is to visit Cardrona. One of the best winter activities in New Zealand is to come when Cardrona is a ski resort. But in the summer it is all about mountain biking here. They have full-day lift passes that you can purchase online, as well as this beginner package that includes all the gear you’re going to need.
Alternatively, if you have your own wheels and bike you can drive up to trails around town like Coronet Peak. Or, this guided tour will take you up to a private trail on Grant Peak with e-bikes!
14. Go canyoning
My favorite adventure activity in Queenstown is canyoning. I know, that’s a big statement, but it’s true! Canyoning is just so much fun, and to me, it’s the perfect combination of a thrilling experience without being too crazy.
There are many different canyoning experiences you can choose from in Queenstown including half-day and full-day options. Personally, I think the half-day experience is enough though and the one I did was a ton of fun. The half-day canyon is located in the Gibbston Valley and the full-day one is in Mt Aspiring National Park.
Either way, both are amazing and you’ll have so much fun zip lining, repelling, swimming, jumping, and navigating a canyon to the endpoint.
The water in the canyons is cold, but you are given a wetsuit, helmet, and life jacket for the tour. You’ll also get a harness for repelling down into the canyon. The tour companies do recommend that you have a certain amount of comfort in the water, but seriously it’s so much fun!
One thing to note is that canyoning is a summer activity in Queenstown and you won’t be able to join the tour during the winter months.
15. Via Ferrata rock climbing
I’m not an experienced rock climber, in fact, I’ve never done it before. However, during the summer in Queenstown, everyone seems to go rock-climbing so I decided to give it a go. Of course, with no experience, I didn’t want to just hit a rock wall so instead, I joined a Via Ferrata tour.
Via Ferrata is an Italian word that translates to the “iron road”. Basically, it’s like rock climbing but with an iron route of pegs and ladder rungs. The great thing about Via Ferrata is that anyone can do it and it’s really safe! On the tour in Queenstown, I climbed a wall on Gorge Road and must have climbed a thousand feet at least! It was crazy, but super fun too.
I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to challenge themselves and experience the feeling of rock climbing!
Update: Unfortunately the Via Ferrata is currently not running in Queenstown.
16. Soar in the sky on a scenic flight
Queenstown is beautiful from every angle but one many don’t get to see is from the sky. With a vantage point a few thousand feet above town, you’ll be able to take in more scenery than you can imagine, and do it at a much faster pace.
I’ve personally done a scenic flight in Mount Cook National Park in a helicopter and loved it.
When it comes to scenic flights in Queenstown you can choose between either a helicopter or a small fixed-wing plane. Personally, I love helicopter rides, and trust me, from the sky Queenstown is stunning! This half-day helicopter tour is also a great deal for the amount you will see so it is well worth considering for such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If you want to both visit Milford Sound and go on a scenic flight in Queenstown then you should definitely combine the two on this epic tour. It’ll save you money and you’ll get to fly to Milford Sound over a remote part of the Southern Alps! Plus, there are a few excellent options when it comes to flights from Queenstown to Milford including some unforgettable helicopter flights where you can land on a glacier!
Related Read: For more ideas of where to go, learn about the best helicopter tours in all of New Zealand!
17. Hit the slopes
The number one thing to do in Queenstown in winter is to hit the slopes. It’s the main reason most people come to Queenstown in the winter, and to be honest, I don’t blame them. Skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand are so much fun and if you’re coming from places like Australia, it’s likely the only place to go nearby with decent snow. With that said, don’t expect North American ski hills, they’re much smaller in New Zealand!
There are three ski hills close to Queenstown called The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, and Cardrona. The two I personally love are The Remarkables and Cardrona. Although Coronet Peak is a good ski field, the snow is often really hard due to its location.
Regardless, hit the slopes this winter in Queenstown and we may even bump into each other (hopefully not too hard!)
Related Read: For more info, read my blog all about skiing in Queenstown!
18. SUP or kayaking on the lake
During the spring and summer months, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking are really popular activities on the lakes around Queenstown. The best part is though is that rentals are really cheap. In fact, a SUP board costs only $25 NZD for 45 minutes and the boards are big enough to take your little one along for the ride. I will warn you though, if you fall in, it’s freezing!
If staying dry is important then I’d rent a kayak instead. Rentals are based on the number of people you’re traveling with and a two-person kayak for 45 minutes is $50 NZD. On a kayak, you can go much further and even explore small bays and secluded beaches. Both can be rented from the Queenstown waterfront.
If you want to visit a hidden gem in Queenstown, then join either a SUP or kayak out at Moke Lake. Moke Lake is stunning, and honestly, I highly recommend checking it out even if you don’t join this adventure tour!
Related Read: Visiting Queenstown in December? Read my blog about the best activities, events, and more!
19. White water surfing
Have you ever heard of river surfing before? Well, before coming to Queenstown I hadn’t either! It’s easily one of the most unique adventure activities on offer in Queenstown.
River surfing is essentially whitewater rafting but instead of an inflatable boat, you hold onto a small floating board, kind of like a bodyboard! Although the rapids are smaller than what you typically see whitewater rafting, it feels a lot more extreme because you are not in a boat. There is a bit of technique involved in river surfing, and your guide will teach you before you head off.
River surfing is offered by only one company in Queenstown, and they offer a few different experiences starting at $235 NZD per person.
20. Hang gliding
Are you ready to sore into the air?! Lying beneath a pair of hang gliding “wings”, you and your guide will glide through the sky high above Queenstown from up at Coronet Peak Ski Fields. You’ll get an adrenaline rush and epic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu at once.
To be honest, I’ve never been hang-gliding before (yes, another thing to do in Queenstown added to my bucket list.) But from speaking to people who have done both hang gliding and paragliding, it sounds like hang gliding is much more extreme since you’ll move faster through the air. Paragliding is a lot slower and more relaxing, whereas hang gliding will probably get your heart rate up a little more.
Expect to pay around $250 NZD for a hang gliding flight, and you can secure your spot online in advance.
Similar, but different, to hang gliding is paragliding. Like hang gliding, you’ll be attached to your guide as you run off the edge of a mountain into the sky. With paragliding, you’ll be seated as you float calmly through the air. It is a little bit less extreme than hang-gliding if you ask me – which means more time to enjoy the scenery and views.
It’s an adrenaline rush as you go running off the edge of a mountain. However, once you’ve been in the air for a few minutes it becomes a lot more relaxing and you can really just enjoy the view.
Parasailing is another one of those iconic things to do in Queenstown. You’ll be pulled behind a speed boat flying high into the sky under a parachute.
Parasailing in Queenstown departs from the water’s edge near Earnslaw Park at Queenstown Paraflights. You can fly solo, tandem, or in a triple making it a fun family activity. That’s right, kids are allowed to go parasailing too! Parasailing is available all year round and they can guarantee you won’t get wet!
The price per person depends on the number of people flying at once, but expect to pay between $100-$200 NZD per adult with discounted child prices available too.
23. Milford Sound Trip
The most popular tour from Queenstown is a day trip to Milford Sound. Milford Sound is another attraction you can visit during any season in Queenstown. This giant glacier-carved valley is known (in New Zealand) as the unofficial 8th Natural Wonder of the World, and after visiting you’ll be able to see why.
You can choose between a huge variety of Milford tours including coach tours, one that includes a scenic flight one way, or scenic flights both ways. All tours include a boat cruise once in Milford Sound. If you have the budget, this scenic flight combined with a cruise and road trip one-way is the absolute best tour to Milford. Otherwise, for the best budget option, check out this one, or for something a little, do a cruise and kayak combo tour!
If you plan on driving yourself, be sure to stop at the best attractions along the drive from Queenstown to Milford.
The truth is, no matter how you choose to explore Milford Sound, it will prove to be an adventure!
Related Read: Check out some of the other best day trips from Queenstown!
There are lots of different hikes to choose from in Queenstown, but for the purpose of this blog, I’ve narrowed it down to my two favorites that are also some of the most adventurous and challenging:
Queenstown Hill is one of the easier hikes in Queenstown that still offers amazing views. Although I call it “easy”, it isn’t without its challenges. This trail climbs over 400 meters (1,313 feet) in elevation over about 2.5 kilometers (16. mi). It is a steady uphill climb most of the way.
Most people take around 3 hours to complete the entire trail.
The views from the top are amazing though and totally worth the effort. From the Basket of Dreams (a sculpture on the hill), you can enjoy the view of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables, and Queenstown itself.
Queenstown Hill Track is an out-and-back trail that starts not far from the town center on Belfast Terrace. The trailhead location can be found on Google Maps. If you walk to the trailhead from downtown Queenstown, you’ll add a whopping 200 meters (656 feet) extra elevation gain to your total hike.
Ben Lomond Track is one of the more challenging hikes around Queenstown, but it also offers the best views. The trail officially starts up at Bob’s Peak (where the gondola goes.) So, you can take the gondola up and start the hike from there (this is an awesome shortcut) or you can hike from town on the Tiki Trail. The Tiki Trail starts at the end of Brecon Street near the gondola station and takes you up to Bob’s Peak where you connect with Ben Lomond Track.
To hike to Ben Lomond Summit from Queenstown and back you need to allow 6-8 hours. Also, in the winter or under bad weather conditions, it may be unsafe to hike to the summit. You can also check with the DOC office in Queenstown about trail conditions before you leave.
Even if the weather isn’t ideal, you can always just hike to the saddle. This makes the hike much shorter and to be honest, the views are just as good!
25. Game Over Queenstown
For a little indoor adventure in Queenstown, consider heading to Game Over Queenstown. The huge warehouse is home to three activities including an arcade, laser tag, and even an indoor go-karting track. My personal favorite is the go-karts and although not the fastest, kids love them – it is easily one of the best things to do in Queenstown with kids. The track has really tight corners so you feel as though you are going faster than you are!
The cheapest thing to do at Game Over is the arcade though and games start at only $1 each. They have a huge selection of games including skill testers and my favorite, table air hockey! I’ve personally never tried their laser tag but it does look like lots of fun too.
Where to Stay in Queenstown
Finding the right place to stay in Queenstown can be hard. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of awesome choices but things book up fast! For that reason, I highly suggest booking your accommodation well in advance.
Honestly, during peak times, any of the best hotels in Queenstown will be fully booked several weeks in advance…you have been warned!
To get you started, here are a few places I personally love and that would make an awesome place to stay in Queenstown.
Absoloot Hostel Queenstown – $
The first is for budget travelers and that’s Absoloot Hostel Queenstown. This small hostel has dorm rooms and budget private rooms and it’s really clean and comfortable. The location is in the heart of Queenstown – the window from the kitchen looks out over Lake Wakatipu! Dorms are around $65 NZD, and private rooms begin around $230 NZD. It is easily one of the top cheap hostels in Queenstown and can be booked on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.
La Quinta Queenstown – $$
If you have a little more money to spend, then you should seriously consider La Quinta Queenstown. It’s a beautiful hotel in a quiet but close location and the views are amazing (although you won’t find me recommending a place without great views!). The rooms are all studio or one-bedroom apartments, which is really handy if you want to cook or even just have breakfast in your room. Prices start at $200 NZD and you can book online here.
Kamana Lakehouse – $$$
For a luxurious stay, you can’t pass on Kamana Lakehouse. This hotel is located just on the outskirts of town, far enough that it’s peaceful but close enough to walk to take a short drive into the center of town. Many of the rooms boast lake views, and some even have outdoor baths! The trick will be snagging this for your dates (it’s a popular place!). Rooms start around the $400 NZD mark and you can check availability and book online here.
Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand
Let’s face it, you’re going to need wheels to get around New Zealand. Although a small country, buses between destinations are infrequent and expensive. Plus, some of the best experiences you can have in NZ are on road trips!
You have three options when it comes to getting wheels in New Zealand; a car, a campervan, or a motorhome. Here’s what you need to know about each and where to get them:
- Car – A normal car is the cheapest rental vehicle you can get in New Zealand. It’ll get you around to all of the best destinations with ease. The only downside to a car is that you will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs during your travels (no camping.) The easiest place to rent a car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare cars, companies, prices, features, and more very easily.
- Campervan – A Campervan is a large van that has a bed and a small kitchen in the back. It is what most budget backpackers get for traveling around New Zealand since it allows you to camp comfortably and for free (most) nights. Campervans are best for couples or solo travelers who are happy to live in a small space. You should also love the outdoors and camping! You can easily compare campervans, prices, and book on the website Motorhome Republic. We also have a 5% discount code (DTRAVEL5) with Mad Campers, which you can use at checkout.
- Motorhome – A motorhome is larger and more comfortable than a campervan. Many motorhomes will comfortably sleep 6 or more people – perfect for a family visiting New Zealand. Motorhomes are the most expensive option, but with one, you won’t ever need to stay in a hotel and you’ll save money that way. Motorhome Republic is my suggested website for booking a motorhome in New Zealand simply because they are a reliable company and the website is super easy to use! We are also partnered with Kiwi Motorhomes, which is well known as the top motorhome rental company in New Zealand. You can get 5% off using the code Queen5. For more detailed info, read my complete guide to renting a motorhome in New Zealand!
- JUCY – JUCY is one of our favorite rental companies in New Zealand! They have a huge inventory and offer regular cars, small campervans, larger campervans, and even motorhomes! The prices are also super competitive and their multiple offices around NZ make pick-up and drop-off a breeze. You can check availability, prices, and book with JUCY online here.
Travel Insurance Has Your Back!
Life can be unpredictable and when you’re traveling abroad, the last thing you want to worry about is getting sick or injured and having to pay out of pocket for treatment.
If this concerns you, SafetyWing can help! SafetyWing specializes in very affordable and comprehensive medical and travel insurance that is aimed at digital nomads, remote workers, and long-term travelers. It costs just $45 USD per 4 weeks!
To start coverage, you must purchase it after leaving your home country, so we usually buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
Since using SafetyWing we’ve been reimbursed thousands of dollars when we’ve gotten sick. During the pandemic, they’ve even gone as far as to pay for our last-minute flights back to Canada before the border closed!
Thanks for reading!
There you have it, 25 exciting adventure activities in Queenstown – NZ’s very own adventure capital! I really hope my blog has helped inspire you to test your nerves and tackle some adrenaline-filled experiences in Queenstown!
Of course, there’s more to Queenstown than adventure activities. Browse all my Queenstown blogs for more ideas of things to do and ways to plan your epic trip. I’ve also written a ton about the South Island in general, and a few of my very favorite road trips! Or enjoy from some of these guides listed here: